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*Warning: This article contains information that some people may find distressing.*
Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna Reid has called for change after Metropolitan Police officers were investigated and found to have sent offensive sexist, racist, homophobic and ableist messages that the officers defended as 'banter'.
The messages were uncovered during an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct which analysed the behaviour of a now disbanded Westminster team between 2016 and 2018.
The investigation was one of the talking points during Wednesday's episode of Good Morning Britain where Susanna and co-presenter Adil Ray reacted to the Met Police statement about the findings from the investigation.
Watch the clip below:
The Met Police responded to the shocking findings in a statement in which they said they “are deeply sorry to everyone they have failed with their appalling conduct.”
In an unusual step, the watchdog published the offensive messages in full detail. They were sent over WhatsApp and Facebook and contained references to rape and sexual assault.
One text exchange said: “I would happily rape you” and “If I was single I would happily chloroform you.”
One officer was dubbed ‘mcrapey raperson’ in a WhatsApp message after he was rumoured to have brought a woman to a police station for sex.
A total of 14 officers were investigated and they were based at Charing Cross station at the time the messages were sent. Nine are still working, while another is currently working a staff role as a contractor.
Some messages also includes racist references to African Children and Auschwitz which were determined to be too offensive to publish.
The report from the investigation concluded with: “The team at Charing Cross where we identified these problems has now been disbanded, yet we have seen evidence of this behaviour in subsequent investigations.
“We believe these incidents are not isolated or simply the behaviour of a few ‘bad apples’.”
IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: “Our investigation showed the officers’ use of ‘banter’ became a cover for bullying and harassment.
"Colleagues were afraid to speak out about these behaviours for fear of being ostracised, demeaned or told to get another job.”
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